Category Archives: Debt

How to start an emergency fund

posted by in Budgeting, Debt, Income shocks, Money saving 2 Comments

So you’ve made the usual New Year’s resolutions. You’ve resolved to go on a diet, take more exercise, take up a new hobby and stop drinking.

There’s a lot of pressure that comes along with keeping a resolution. One minor slip-up, and it can feel like it’s all come crashing down and there’s no point in persevering with it. There is, however, one resolution that you should make and keep this year: start an emergency fund.

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December’s debt and money news

posted by in benefits, Debt, Economy, Housing, Money saving, Payday Loans, Welfare Benefits Leave a comment

It’s time for our usual round-up of the latest debt and money news! Since our last update, there’s been plenty going on, including the Government’s Autumn statement. We’ve looked at in detail to see how you’ll be better, or worse off when the changes kick in.

But that’s not all; we’ve also heard some alarming news regarding some payday lenders who may have been targeting the homeless.  There’s a call from our friends at Moneysavingexpert.com to fix your utility bills NOW, and an inspiring story about how one woman reduced her spending dramatically and changed her outlook on life in one year…

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Our top ten articles of 2016

posted by in Debt, Money maximising, Money saving Leave a comment

This year has been the busiest ever year for the MoneyAware blog. We’ve had more than 1.4 million visits to the site and the year’s not even finished yet!

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet but we’re pretty pleased about how many people we’ve been able to help with our articles.

Here’s a round-up of the most popular blogposts we’ve had in this bumper year for the blog.

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November’s debt and money news

posted by in benefits, Debt, Debt companies, Dodgy practice, Payday Loans Leave a comment

It’s time for debt news again! As usual, things have been happening. Money things. Debt things. Things for us to report to you.

What can be expected from this month’s round up? Payday loans are causing problems, married couples are missing out on tax allowances, and we’re getting a new pound coin.

That’s not all though. Voucher scams, benefits caps and a debt collection company writes off millions of pounds worth of debt. Well, I did say things had been happening! There’s a lot to catch up on, so you’d better read on…

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Are payday loans still a problem?

posted by in Debt, Payday Loans, StepChange Leave a comment

Back in 2013 the payday loan market was booming. Chirpy jingles and TV puppets were advertising quick cash solutions to get you through those last few days before payday.

Many people saw payday loans as a quick and easy way to get cash for unexpected expenses. The trouble was payday loans often caused more problems than they solved.

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Debt collection company refunds & writes off £414m

posted by in Debt, Debt companies, Dodgy practice Leave a comment

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that Motormile Finance, a debt purchasing and collections company, has agreed to write-off £414m of debt for over 500,000 of its customers for past failures in its collections process.

The redress will consist of £154,000 in cash payments to customers and the writing-off of £414m of debt where the firm’s been unable to provide evidence that the balance of a debt is correct and properly due to be repaid.

Bradford-based Motormile Finance are also known as MMF, MMF Debt Purchase and MMF UK.

What happened?

The FCA investigation found that the Motormile Finance had inadequate systems, and didn’t conduct the required checks when buying a portfolio of debts (commonly known as ‘debt books’) from creditors. This process, known as due diligence, meant that the firm couldn’t always be sure that the balance of some customers’ debts were correct.

Other poor practices were also found at the firm, and the company are reported to be making improvements to their processes to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

What’s Motormile Finance going to do about it?

Affected customers will receive either a cash refund, have their outstanding debt balances written off, or in some situations both. The redress will consist of £154,000 in cash payments to customers, and £414m will be used to write off debt balances.

The FCA have since authorised Motormile Finance to continue trading, after it was satisfied that the poor practices at the firm were historical, and major changes have since been made.

A spokesperson for the FCA said:

“We have agreed this package, and previous action, to protect the customers of Motormile from unfair practices. We have worked closely with Motormile, and are now satisfied with their progress and the way that they will address their previous mistakes.”

I’m a Motormile customer, what should I do?

If you’re affected, you don’t need to take any action. Motormile Finance will contact you to explain how the refund will be dealt with. They’ll be in touch by February 2017 at the latest.

There’s more information for customers who think they’re affected on the Motormile website.

I’m a StepChange Debt Charity client – what do I need to do?

If you’re on a debt solution with us and you’re told you’ll receive money or have your balance reduced or written off, you should get in touch with us to let us know. We’ll see if this affects your solution, and let you know if you need to do anything.

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October’s top debt and money news

posted by in Debt, Payday loan refund, Payday Loans Leave a comment

Payday loans were certainly a hot topic recently, when it was revealed that short-term lending giant Wonga admitted it had double-charged thousands of customers by mistake. Mortgage customers may also be due some compensation due to charges for late payments.

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